"She looked amazing," Glamour Magazine editor-in-chief Cindi Leive said on The Early Show, offering her review, along with stylist to the stars David Evangelista.
Keys wore a full-length white satin gown with thick gold straps and a bare back. The dress, paired with simple dangling earrings and sparkling gold eye makeup, made for a sophisticated look that was sexy in its demureness.
Leive noted, "We are so used to seeing her with the braids and she often wears a hat. And she was wearing this white Roberto Cavalli dress with all of those golden sashes that went well with all the statues she won."
Evangelista agreed, "It wasn't trying too hard. It was soft and pretty. It was Grammy. That was the right way to do it with a Cavalli gown."
Beyonce Knowles and Eve also wore Cavalli, but did not get the same review. "It was too Oscary for me," noted Evangelista about Knowles' gown. "This is the Grammys," he exclaimed.
As for Eve, she may have worn the lowest plunging V-neck of the evening in her short red Cavalli dress covered with beads and fringe at the hem.
It was a little too much for Leive. And it made Evangelista wonder, "How do they hold those outfits in place?"
But it didn't push the envelope too far. The same could be said for Ashanti's nude-colored Gucci dress with shimmering gold discs outlining the V that framed her neck and bust.
Another fan of the deep V was Christina Milian, who wore a wrap-style dance dress covered with white beads.
wore the complete opposite of her famous green "barely there" Versace gown at the 2000 Grammys, which she attended with Sean "P. Diddy" Combs.
J.Lo sang with husband Marc Anthony, in their first live duet, in a seafoam green gown with a gold-and-silver sparkling halter strap and similar beaded sash around her hips.
"I actually loved that dress," Leive said. "I think that's a really difficult dress for a woman to wear. It is not super flattering and not the kind of thing that will be knocked off and you'll see at the mall in three days. I thought it looked great on her, and I like the fact that it was sexy and didn't show cleavage."
But Evangelista disagreed, "I didn't like that at all," he said. "I have seen her much softer before."
Like Alicia Keys,and Kanye West went for white. West, who had a swirl pattern shaved into his head, was head-to-toe in white, from his blinding diamond earring to his shoes.
Meanwhile, Usher wore a white shirt, vest and pants, but no jacket, with a brown tie and brown-and-white spectator shoes.
Brandon Flowers of The Killers paired his white tuxedo, complete with white bow tie, with a black shirt.
Joss Stone, a hot newcomer, got noticed in her white gown covered with bright orange, pink and green oversized flowers.
Star Jones Reynolds, living up to her diva reputation, had two outfits for her live two-hour show. One was a pink pleated wrap-style gown with crystal embellishment and a tassel that hung from her hip and a high slit that went "from Georgia to Massachusetts," she said. She also wore an orange halter babydoll top with light-colored pants with orange beading.
Talking to Grammys host Queen Latifah, whose arrival outfit was a salmon-colored gown with all-over pleats and a belt with a crystal-covered buckle, Jones Reynolds said, "All black women have the inner Diana Ross in them."
Leive actually liked Latifah's dress. "I know not everybody did, but I thought she looked really good. She's a curvy woman and not trying to cover herself up in something loose. She's showing off her beautiful shoulders and that necklace is amazing."
Evangelista was among those who disagreed. "I didn't like it. I'm sorry: The necklace and the belt under her breast and the pleats. It was too much for me. I thought it didn't flatter her and made her look more top heavy."
Evangelista did like Gwen Stefani's choices. She arrived in a black minidress with loose shoulders and a keyhole neckline but changed to white for the show's opening number.
Evangelista also noted he liked the way she had her hair styled. "Up dos are loose this season, and I think she hit the nail on the head with that," he said.
Sheryl Crow wore a yellow halter-neck gown with a gold-trimmed cutout around her navel. She paired it with a WearYellow LiveStrong bracelet that raises money for cancer research through the Lance Armstrong Foundation on one arm and Armstrong, her boyfriend, on the other.
"I love the color," Evangelista said. Leive added, "I actually thought it was almost the perfect thing."
Fergie of The Black Eyed Peas wore a strapless, body-hugging dress with a gold flower at the bust and a gold hem that flared out at the knee. "I'm going to put those little skirts away this year," she said during E! Entertainment's preshow.
Meanwhile, her bandmate, whose name is will.i.am, wore a brown stovepipe hat with his brown pinstripes.
Surprisingly, a conservative dark banker's chalk-stripe suit was the other big trend on the green carpet.
Jay-Z epitomized the look, and he wore it well. His pinstripes were complemented with a purple-and-white striped shirt, purple polka dot tie and white pocket square. Others in pinstripes included Hoobastank's Chris Hesse.
"I tried to wear a blindfold when I got dressed today," said smooth jazz star Dave Koz, who wore a navy pinstripe suit, green leather shoes and a green-and-raspberry striped shirt with a green pattern tie.
"I'm not afraid at all," he said. "Anything goes. The Grammys are reflective of music people who are creative."
But for all the bling and skin that MTV watchers are used to seeing, there were very few stars wearing anything flashy. All the rappers wore suits, not jeans, and few of the rock stars, who are known for their T-shirts and jeans, wore the casual look.
Johnny Van Zant of Lynyrd Skynyrd stayed true to his Southern rock roots, though. He wore a black leather vest, black T-shirt and jeans.
Most others, including Rob Thomas, put on suit jackets and button-down shirts, but skipped the tie.
Ricky Martin probably wore more necklaces with his black jacket and untucked white shirt than most of the women combined. Most of the jewelry was limited to diamond earrings and a handful of bangle bracelets.